In Level 1 it is important to quickly find every case of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID) so testing is encouraged. Testing is generally guided by the NZ Ministry of Health case definitions, which are updated from time to time and include many patients hospitalised with suspected infection at an unknown site.
Testing schedules are adapted weekly. Currently it is batched twice daily 08:00 and 12:00 seven days a week. Expected turnaround time is <24 hours from laboratory registration to result.
Most clinical pathways have been arranged so that a pending COVID test should not delay investigations or admissions.
Selected cases can be tested urgently upon phoned request between the hours 08:00 and 22:00. Turnaround time is <2 hours.
ICU, HDU and Haem/Oncology: please phone 98606 to request.
Other locations: please phone the Clinical Microbiologist on duty 027 290 5255 and leave a message if you don't get through first time.
Additional testing, such as for Influenza and RSV, is also available.
Latest laboratory specimen collection information can be found here